SAT 406M – Wrist-Worn Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
Daniel Katz, Ohad Barak, Daniel Keren
The Cospas-Sarsat satellite system supports Search-and-Rescue (SAR) efforts, particularly for marine personnel, by providing location data from beacons to national SAR authorities. It will soon also be augmented by GPS, GALILEO, and GLONASS. Mobit’s SAT406 is the world’s first certified Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It implements a patented method to communicate data beyond the standard to SAR ground stations. The marine version, SAT406M, will use three GNSS services: navigational signals, distress signal relay, and the Return Link Service (RLS) provided by GALILEO. RLS and the patented method enable a two-way communication protocol between PLB and the SAR centre. In particular, upon proper sensing and processing, SAT406M will report the user’s physiological status to the SAR centre, indicate the custom equipment or medication required, and receive suitable medical advice in return. In addition, SAT406M will integrate a marine very high frequency (VHF) radio, thus enabling distress calls in the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) format supported by almost every vessel today. Hence, while satellites provide worldwide coverage, nearby ships could possibly provide immediate assistance, resulting in enhanced chances of rescue.